Good morning! Happy Tuesday to you.
Today is Day Two of my Growing in Unity week. I'm sharing projects created with Unity Stamp Company's wonderful red rubber cling stamps, each day, Monday through Friday this week. Today's post is VERY picture heavy, but I hope some of the information I share might be helpful to some.
There really is nothing better than red rubber stamps. Even though you can not see through them like a clear photo-polymer stamp, the red rubber gives fabulous crisp images, and the red rubber can give much more fine detail than a clear stamp.
Unity Stamp Company offers three subscription programs: The Kit of the Month, the S.M.A.K. kit (Scrapbooking, Mixed Media, Altered Art Kit), which are a both full sheet of red rubber stamps and a smaller kit, called Uniquely Unity. I have been subscribing to the first two full-sheet kits for years. They are such a bargain. Each month's kit, contains many images and sentiments that generally center around a theme. It's always exciting to see the sneak peak of each month's kit online, and then I anxiously await delivery! Here are this month's kits:
(This is the one I do not subscribe to. Yet.)
Kit of the Month
You can find out more about these Subscription programs HERE.
Because my original enrollment date was early in the month, my subscription kits arrive in a padded shipping envelope rather early each month, and here are my November kits! I was so excited for those trees!! I'll be using those in my first project today.
I knew just what I wanted to do when I first saw those trees in the online sneak peek. I wanted to make a card with Santa and his sleigh soaring above the treetops, so I first needed to create a background. I wanted a silhouette of Santa in front of a bright full moon, so my first step was to create a mask to protect the moon. I used a 1 3/4 circle punch to cut out a circle from 2" Post-it tape.
I used the moon mask to protect the white of my cardstock panel as I was ink-blending my sky.
But then I decided the white of the cardstock was just too stark, so I added just a bit of yellow over my moon.
I used my Original MISTI to stamp a crisp black image of Santa and his sleigh. The Santa stamp was in the September Kit of the Month, All Kinds of Love.
I then added the sentiment from Comfort to Go using my MISTI, and then used the skinny pine tree from this month's kit, Wonder, and an acrylic stamp block to stamp my trees along the bottom. I used navy blue ink, and stamped many times: full strength ink, a second time without re-inking (second generation), and a third time without re-inking (third generation). This gave me a look of depth to my forest of trees.
Sometimes people ask me how I can mix and match images and sentiments to create my cards so easily. I'm going to share my secret:
I have a database program that syncs on all of my devices, desktop computer, laptop, ipad and iphone. I use the program called Evernote to keep an inventory of all my stamps. Evernote is a note-taking app that has way more capabilities than I know how to use, but I still love it. I use it in its most basic form, primarily for the search feature. There are options for creating categories, and sub-categories, but I don't really mess around with doing that. I basically have one huge folder, that contains hundreds of notes. I create a "note" for each one of the stamp sets or kits that I own. Here are some screen shots of how I created a note for Wonder, my November kit of the month.
Once I opened the program, (which actually stays open on my desktop almost all of the time), I use my cursor to open a "New Note" under the file menu.
This will open a new window with the note (the center box). Then I open my browser, and adjust the size of the window to fit side by side with my Evernote window to make it easy to see both. I then search the Unity Stamps website for the newest Kit of the Month (when the kit is brand new, it only appears on the subscription page), right click their image photo and copy photo.
Now I can go to that untitled New Note screen and paste the Kit of the Month photo that I copied into the body of this new note.
Next, I give the note a title. I add the name of kit, the company, and the date.
Now here's what is truly magical:
In the upper bar of my new note screen, there is a box to add "tags". Tags are key words that will be linked to this particular note, and if I were ever to want to use the search feature on the Evernote program, all I do is enter the word I am searching for. In this "add tag" box, I add a tag for EVERYTHING.
Here is the list of search tags I added for this Kit:
I've tagged the company, typed in every sentiment - all of it, added a tag that identifies each general image, as well as various themes that the images may fit into, etc.. You can add as many tags as you want here.
These tags are so helpful. Someday, when I want to create a card wishing someone well on a new adventure, or a job change or move. I can search just the word "adventure" in Evernote on any of my synced devices and the program will show me the notes, and photos of the sets that I have that contain the adventure tag, as well as any sentiment stamp that I own that contains the word adventure.
Here is a screen shot of what that search looks like on my iphone (YES. It syncs to stay current on all of your devices!):
It shows that in my entire stamp inventory, I have 13 notes that are tagged Adventure. I can now click on any of the thumbnail images, to take a peek at the sets/kits to see if any of the highlighted images or sentiments would be a perfect fit for my project.
Adventure is the theme of my next project. This card could be used for a wide variety of occasions: a move, a new job or job transfer, heading off to college, etc..
This image from the November 2019 Kit of the Month, Wonder; and is an Angie Girl, designed my Angie Blom. Quite often, a new Angie Girl image appears in the Kit of the Month subscription kits. Illustrator Angie Blom designs many of the stamps that are included in the Kit of the Months.
I stamped the image of the girl and her luggage onto a panel of Fabriano Artistico cold press watercolor panel using Fade Out ink using my MISTI. After stamping the image, I left the stamp in place in the MISTI.
I was at home the day I made this card, so I used Distress Inks to paint this image. Distress inks are a great and simple way to experiment with watercoloring. They move incredibly well on the paper, and many people already own them, (and likely own the full set of 60 colors). To do this, I took my Distresss ink cubes, and just squished the ink pad directly onto my craft mat, leaving a rectangle splotch of ink. This ink splotch was now my watercolor medium which I simply picked up from a palette with my damp paintbrush.
I painted the background first, loosely adding rectangular swatches of ink to create the impression of a city scape. (I needed to be sure my background idea worked before I put time into painting the focal image.) I was careful to let each color dry before switching colors. I didn't want to risk the colors blending, and resulting in a muddy look. Once I was happy with my background, I painted the girl and her luggage.
When my panel was fully dry, I put it back into my MISTI and heat embossed the image with clear embossing powder. This put a bit of the details that I lost back into the image, especially in her hair, and her boots. I also added the greeting (also from Wonder) with dark brown ink, cleaned my stamp while still in place, then stamped over it with embossing ink and heat embossed it with clear embossing powder as well.
Now I'm going to share my secret to storing these large subscription kits.
These kits have so many stamps included, that once you have fully separated the stamps from their sheet of rubber, then can end up in a big pile at the bottom of the bag.
Here is my secret:
I slide the whole sheet of rubber to my work surface, face down.
Then I remove the paper backing from each of the stamps. Some people save these backings to use as masks, but I do not. I toss them.
Next I find one of these EZ Mount storage panels.
And place it over the whole sheet of rubber and give it a little pressure over the whole panel. The stamps will cling to the coated surface of the storage panel.
Then I flip it over, and often holding each stamp in place on the storage panel, peel away all the excess rubber and dispose of it.
Now I am left with all the stamps in place on my storage panel.
I can now slide it, along with the printed image sheet, back into the ziplock bag it arrived in. I use my Brother label maker to print a simple label, and put it away in chronological order on my shelf.
The storage panel is sturdy enough to hold all the stamps, and to be stored standing up!
Here are some of my Unity stamps in, and on top of my ancient IKEA storage cabinet.
Well, thats enough for today. That was a LOT. If you made it this far, thank you. I appreciate you being here and hope you found a bit of useful information. I'll be back with more projects tomorrow, as well as share my storage tips for the smaller Unity Stamp kits/sets.
Pssst! If you would like to be entered to win a prize pack of amazing Unity Stamp Company's stamps, just leave a comment below. Unity has generously offered a prize pack for me to giveaway to TWO lucky commenters this week!
Thank you, and I hope you come back tomorrow. I'll be here. I just may be snowed in.
Have a fantastic day.